Seasonal timing is a key life-history trait with major fitness consequences. The Visser-group works mainly on avian timing of reproduction (in great tits, blue tits and pied flycatchers) but also on timing of growth (in winter moths). The research is closely linked to the impact of global climate change on timing and its consequences. The research spans the entire range of genes to populations with research in the wild, in climate controlled aviaries, the molecular laboratory and modelling. An important part of this research has been funded by a NWO-VICI grant (2007-2013) and an ERC Advanced grant (2014-2019).
The PhD project of Natalie van Dis on the genetic variation in the mechanisms underlying timing in winter moths is in collaboration with the Chronobiology group in Groningen where Marcel Visser is Professor on Seasonal Timing of Behaviour. The PhD project of Melanie Lindner focusses on seasonal timing in great tits, making use of the data collected by former PhD students Irene Verhagen and Jip Ramakers on genomic selection lines for laying date. Her research on Avian Genomics, including the quest for the genes underlying seasonal timing, is done in close collaboration with the van Oers group and the Animal Breeding and Genomics Centre group of Wageningen University where Marcel Visser has been Professor of Ecological Genetics from 2012-2022.
The Visser-group also studies the causes and consequences of variation in other traits, such as seasonal and daily clocks and bill size.
Christiaan Both, Christel Mols, Margriet van Asch, Arild Husby, Ivan de la Hera, Francisco Pulido, Marjolein Lof, Nikkie van Bers, Luc te Marvelde, Sonja Schaper, Tom Reed, Samuel Caro, Davide Dominoni, Phillip Gienapp, Veronika Laine, Jip Ramakers, Irene Verhagen